January 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 1)
Strong Points: Thorough approach
Weak Points: Access not always clear
BEN is a portal of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) with “10,187 reviewed resources covering 77 biological sciences topics.” What, you may wonder, is a “reviewed resource?” I’m glad you asked, but to answer it I must describe BEN first. Established by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999, BEN (BioscienceEdNet) was designed with biological science education in mind. It provides free access to K-12 educators and college faculty to materials for use in the classroom, for use in preparing material for teaching, and for just about any teaching-related activity. Most of the material is free with registration, though there are some sections that require a paid subscription. Materials are reviewed by individual societies in the biological sciences for standards of quality and accuracy. Materials are accessible through a search engine and several browsing options.